Dear GOP: Please don’t Cut Children’s Food Stamps: Our Rich aren’t Overtaxed

The irrational GOP insistence on bankrupting our government by insisting on exempting the rich from taxes has reached the point where they just kicked 300,000 poor children off food stamps to give millionaires another tax break.

Their constant refrain is that Americans are over-taxed in world terms and that there is a danger of our firms (such patriots) going abroad if we tax them. But actually… no:

taxrates

3 Responses

  1. Dear Juan:

    Your post gets to the heart of the matter, but the problem is in fact much much more dire than even you suggest. I have worked off and on as a volunteer on hunger issues in my state of Oregon. Last year I had a chance to hear a pediatrician from Harvard Medical in Boston speak at a large conference on childhood hunger in our nation. What impressed me the most about her talk was how paradoxically expensive hunger, and especially childhood hunger is for all of us.

    Children who are hungry and malnourished generally do not develop into normal healthy adults. Many suffer from damaged immune systems, behavioral and mental problems, and lower intelligence. Imagine how lousy you feel if you are a few hours late for your lunch. Well, multiply that by a half-day, or day or two, then imagine that is being imposed on a developing human being. This is how our children, and many children of the world, suffer. Damaged immune systems in turn mean adult illnesses down the road, meaning stress on an already over-burdened health care system as well as lost productivity and wages from work. Behavioral problems can often be aggressive, resulting in violence and ultimately prison.

    In sum: lost productivity over a lifetime, health problems, prison, means expensive outlays by our health care providers, our schools (where many of the behavioral problems play themselves out), our criminal justice system, and at the same time a loss in revenue as we bandage these problems rather than addressing their root causes.

    I am no champion of either party, but it infuriates me that throughout my adult life Republicans have been depicted by the MSM as reasonable grown-ups who are somehow financially more responsible than spendthrift lefties. They are not. It is far cheaper to put give a child three square meals daily at government expense than it is to pay for the results of what the GOP wants to do by cutting SNAP or WIC. The GOP in fiscal terms has the planning ability of the Keystone Cops – funny, were it not for the end results of ruined lives.

    Food pantries, churches, and all private charities combined only make up at any one time 3-6% of the nourishment provided to the hungry in this country. Cut that out of the federal budget and you have effectively undercut all of the efforts of those private charities. What the government can do to address hunger by contrast is enormous.

    One South American country, Brazil, recently had the right idea (see: link to marketplace.org). They actually decided, rightly so, that food is a public resource, and access to good nutritious food is a fundamental human right. Nationally in the US 16.7 million children live in homes with poor food security (go to: feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/child-hunger-facts.aspx# to see the numbers). My home state of Oregon stands at the bottom (if you exclude DC), with over 29% (!) of our children at some point not having enough to eat, an absolute scandal in a region that is so rich in the production of excellent agricultural goods.

    As I said, I am no fan of the Dems. But between the Republicans’ drumming up of wars on false pretense, their transference of wealth from the poor and middle-class to the super rich, their embracing of torture, their opening salvos against the rule of law and the Constitution, their obstruction about resolving the gun epidemic, their continued denial of global warming and obstruction on that score, and their open warfare against the poor and our children . . . well, someday some school kid might just ask a teacher: Why wasn’t the party outlawed sooner?

  2. Thanks Juan, and the great comment too. Don’t forget Venezuela as an example for the good actions,as well as Brazil. The rich “representatives of the US citizens” are nothing like representative of the nation As well, figures from the recent election show the huge gerrymandring in so many States, where very small numbers of Democrats were elected, while the votes were proportionally much greater. sorry I forget the link, but it was noticeable. I realise the Dems are bad enough, but the “GOP” now has such power, with the POTUS weakly or willingly bargaining away the rights of the most needy, that there needs to be a real wakeup call to the masses, if they have enough food and energy to respond.

  3. We have to end the popular myth that the rich want what’s best for the rest of us. They obtain multiple advantages from lording over a bankrupt and terrified population, which seems to be more of a sure thing than investing their wealth in a stronger commonwealth. Perhaps their increasingly inbred and autistic libertarian ideology and the accompanying manufacture of bullshit data to support it makes them feel better about this unnatural state.

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